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Description

Study more than three dozen works that span the timelines of Western history, from ancient Greece and Rome to the modern age. Whether written 2,000, 200, or 20 years ago, the enduring works of literature still speak to us and place our unique experiences into a larger perspective, offering invaluable lessons for every important moment in life. 

Every Great Book you explore over these 36 insightful lectures - from the Odyssey and the Gospel of John to Hamlet and Animal Farm - is a unique expression of the human spirit and a fountain of advice, from how to conduct yourself in times of trouble to how to better appreciate the simple moments in your life. 

You'll discover six broad themes that run through history's most compelling stories: the unconquerable human spirit, youth and old age, romance and love, adventure and courage, laughter and irony, and patriotism. In exploring these themes within the context of these Great Books, you learn new ideas about both the works themselves and the broad scope of the human condition. 

If you haven't read these Great Books before, the warmth of Professor Fears's storytelling and his insightful approach to literature will have you heading to the library to learn more. And if you've already read these works, you'll discover new themes and ideas that will help you get more out of them.

Regardless of your previous familiarity with these works, you'll come to understand why these masterpieces remain eternal testaments to the variety of human experience and the powerful ways in which literature can guide and inspire us.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio. 

©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Life Lessons from the Great Books

Moyenne des évaluations de clients
Au global
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie
  • 2018-06-30

Not that great!

Lots of talking about the books. Lots of reading, or paraphrasing, large swaths of passages from the books. No real lifting of "lessons to be learned". Personally, I would not want to incorporate the themes and ideas of some of these books into my life, but I like most of the stories, as stories -- period. I am continuing to listen to it for ideas about future books to read, but not to learn life lessons. It really does not give you what the title says, but it does make you familiar with the books and future reading possibilities. The only book so far that really gave a palpable life lesson, in my opinion, is the one about Albert Schweitzer. There are, of course, moments in most of the books. One of the worst things – thus far – about these lectures, is that he tells the story of Hamlet WRONG! How can someone get the story of Hamlet wrong!?

17 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bonnie
  • 2016-08-22

Excellent series on lessons from the great books

This was a very well performed series of lectures on the great books. The professor would summarize a book in each lecture and then draw some generalities that we can apply to our own lives. Sometimes these lessons seemed a little too general or strained, but overall it was a good exposure to a number of books I wasn't familiar with, and a good refresher on other books I haven't read in years.

The best thing I can say is that it has inspired me to want to read several of the books covered in the series.

13 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian L.
  • 2017-12-15

Same exceptional style as The Wisdom of History

This course fits nicely with Professor Fears' course The Wisdom of History, which is by far my favorite of The Great Courses. like it, Fears teaches to specific life lessons he draws from the material. I seldom see this approach. Most teachers give you the dry material with little context and no guidance on what lessons to draw from it. He manages to humanize every person he talks about. On top of all this, he possesses the best lecturing style of anyone I have heard.

12 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • fears
  • 2019-04-07

one of the wisest lecturers I have ever heard

I love this professor. all of his courses are well worth the money. he is extremely thoughtful and insightful into the past and how it effects is today.
the most memorable thing he teaches is how to live your life

9 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2020-09-29

too much religion

Extremely religious in nature, this was not mentioned anywhere. If this is not your thing, do note

7 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • 2017-11-13

Exceptional Teacher

Professor Fears is an exceptional teacher, his message is captivating and memorable. The best part of the book is his definition of a great book. "A great book possesses four qualities: 1) It deals with a great theme. 2) It is written in noble language. 3) It speaks across the ages. 4) It speaks to us as individuals." He uses this as a rubric for each book discussed. Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

7 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alex C
  • 2016-02-21

Great course!

I really appreciate Rufus Fears classical perspective of focusing on the lessons/wisdom to be gained from the history and the classics as opposed to the composition of the stories. His knowledge of history and classical approach provides context to the classics and does more than just provides a "cliff's notes" version of the stories. After this course I was genuinely interested in reading or re-reading several of these classics.

7 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SaintStryfe
  • 2014-09-30

Interesting but a bit scattered by Prof. Fears

If you could sum up Life Lessons from the Great Books in three words, what would they be?

Insightful. Entertaining. Scattered.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Life Lessons from the Great Books?

Recounting the story of the Odyssey, he reads his interpretation of the lesson from the book and you get a real feeling that this one struck him just a bit deeper then some of the rest.

Have you listened to any of Professor J. Rufus Fears’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Prof. Fears has done tons of wonderful content for TTC and this one is not an exception.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

His descriptions of the lives of Washington and Lincoln in discussing their farewell and inauguration speeches rekindled a desire to research both.

Any additional comments?

Two minor quibbles: Prof. Fears structures the course as a series of themes, so the books feel a bit disjointed - he'll be talking about Greeks, then suddenly he'll be in early America. It also felt a bit "Western Civ" oriented (So the Tale of the Genji had nothing to teach us?)

But those two criticisms aside, I can happily recommend this series to anyone who likes to hear a very intelligent, thoughful person talking about something they're passionate about.

22 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2020-09-26

A selection for Americans interested in America

It is a great course and posess a wide selection of books from all eras of *European and American* litterature. Nowhere are the great stories of other continents, no Shahnemah, no Epic of Gilgamesh, no Water Margin etc. If this course was interested in the topics of Love, Adventure, Patriotism it is truly sad how limited the module is in geographical scope.

It is also sad how the lessons to be learned are tailored for the Americans to learn. The section of Adventure feature many stories of war and courage, but we're implied to understand these in the context of American engagements in the Middle East.

I am disappointed how the great works of litterature are not approached from a universal perspective, what they can tell us of the human condition, but what they can tell of today.

That's a mistake.

4 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • James W. Killman
  • 2018-11-30

Greatest Books You Never Read

This series of lectures leads one through many great texts that SHOULD have been read in school but probably weren't. You owe it to yourself to listen, learn, and expand your mind.

4 les gens ont trouvé cela utile